Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Heyward helps emphasize club's new theme

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. --One of Joe Maddon's themes this year is to be uncomfortable, and players received new T-shirts with that message on Sunday. Jason Heyward emphasized the point even more by wearing the shirt backwards.

The back of the shirt is "uncomfort" with the letters "U" and "C" in red. The front says "able" and the "B" is over-sized and also in red. The "B-U-C" is "Cub" spelled backwards, which the manager says is a tribute to the Beatles' "Abbey Road" album.

View Full Game Coverage

MESA, Ariz. --One of Joe Maddon's themes this year is to be uncomfortable, and players received new T-shirts with that message on Sunday. Jason Heyward emphasized the point even more by wearing the shirt backwards.

The back of the shirt is "uncomfort" with the letters "U" and "C" in red. The front says "able" and the "B" is over-sized and also in red. The "B-U-C" is "Cub" spelled backwards, which the manager says is a tribute to the Beatles' "Abbey Road" album.

View Full Game Coverage

"The phrase 'uncomfortable' -- you write it down on a piece of paper and then start breaking the word down a little bit," Maddon said of the creative process. "I liked the 'able' part of 'uncomfortable' and wanted that on the front of the shirt."

Then he saw Heyward.

"[The message] was enhanced even further by Jason wearing it backward unintentionally," Maddon said. "That's truly the definition of being uncomfortable. I actually liked that. I think people should be aware that you can wear it either way and it plays."

Of course, Heyward may not be the best example.

"He could wear a burlap bag and it'll look good on him," Maddon said of the outfielder. "It's unfair to gauge any kind of modeling with him because it's going to look good."

• Maddon saw Javier Baez's three-run homer for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. After Baez made contact, the Cubs infielder placed the bat down on the ground and then trotted around the bases, skipping a little as he approached home plate. Was it too much?

"He put the bat down," Maddon said Sunday. "It was the anti-emotion."

Maddon would prefer to see players focus on their business, not the flash.

"I've always liked the idea of a guy who, when he does something really well, he's going to act like he's done it before and he's going to do it again," Maddon said.

"I don't think [what Baez did] matters," Maddon said. "I don't know who it matters to. ... I know some people take offense to it. All I know is when I'm getting my butt kicked, I feel it's my fault. If somebody wants to dance on my gravesite, that's up to them. Demonstration is starting to be a part of the game. For me, would I prefer it not? Of course, I'd prefer it not. I don't get it. But because I don't get it doesn't mean it isn't the wrong thing to do."

• Lefty reliever Brian Duensing, who came out of his last outing because of tightness in his lower back, threw off flat ground on Sunday for the second day and reported no pain. His status is day to day.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs, Jason Heyward